The coverage out of Baltimore by the broadbased media told a lot. Why was there a focus on a night of rioting for days and days? Why was so little attention paid to the thousands who marched peacefully and with cause? Where was the attention on the plight of the entire community, endured for years and years, of jobs leaving, income sinking and public schools starved for funding?

What the media don’t choose to talk about is the massive disinvestment in our cities and country for years and years. Government has pursued the same disinvestment policies put in place by the private market. Just like Cate Street Capital and East Millinocket, the asset is bled dry in the name of the bottom line (also known as profit) and left for dead. We get to see it all around us, but our frustration level has not reached a Baltimore boiling point.

If we looked carefully, we could see all the vacant, boarded-up Baltimore buildings. The white owners pursued the same disinvestment strategy: Bleed them dry, put nothing into maintenance, board them up and take a tax loss. On the flip side, oppose any increase in the minimum wage, for starters.

For those who wish to see this as an urban problem, count Waterville’s vacant properties. Look at Mid-State Machine, owned by a Dallas venture capital company now. In two years, I predict, the Winslow operation will be gone. That will happen unless, of course, they are given a big bag of taxpayer money. But it may happen like East Millinocket. They might just take the money and run.

Stephen Aucoin

Waterville


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